The sculpture exhibits bring texture and color to Mt.

When you think back to a painting you’ve seen in a gallery, you usually don’t remember the frame. But when you see art in nature, like the 30 pieces that make up the SculptureNow exhibit on display at The Mount in Lenox, Mass., What surrounds the work becomes an indelible part of its impact and the images that remain in it. Your spirit.

For example, Eliza Evans’ “Artefactual,” a trio of faceless characters wrapped in white, would be striking in any setting. But standing apart from each other in a leafy glade, the dappled sunlight peeking over their curved surfaces, they are weird, haunting, full of mysterious omens. Moored next to a stream, a pair of slender wooden boats (Anchored by Katryn Lipke) appear to have disembarked only briefly, in the middle of the adventure. On the edge of a forest crisscrossed with winding paths, Allen Spivack’s whimsical “Monument to the Lost Gloves”, a meditation on death and loss, becomes a gateway to the unknown.

“When it comes to our selection, we really have the site itself in mind, and we spend at least as much time installing the sculptures as we do choosing them,” said Susan Wissler, executive director of Mount, who works in close collaboration with SculptureNow. director Ann Jon and her crew to set up the pieces on the grounds of author Edith Wharton’s historic estate.

Founded in 1998, the nonprofit Jon’s Berkshires began by showcasing work along main streets or on the lawns of private homes, before teaming up with the Mount eight years ago to establish a more permanent location. for its annual exhibition.

“We’ve reached a lot of people who wouldn’t normally go to an art gallery or museum,” said Jon, who lives in Berkshire County and has exhibited and taught locally, nationally and internationally for four decades. “However, we have found that the great advantage of being at the Mount is that rather than driving next to a sculpture, it is very inviting for people to walk around and look at the work, to sit down, to have a picnic, then to look at other sculptures. “

This year’s show, which runs until October 13, was staged for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, and overall it has a timeless feel – neither overtly political nor a direct reflection on it. past year. A downloadable audio tour with recorded excerpts from each artist offers insight into their inspiration, materials and process. We learn how Madeleine Lord found the pieces of her found object “Donkey”, why Craig Anderson chose corten (a metal designed to rust) for his abstract and kinetic “Wind Water” and the moment that catalyzed “Saturn” from James Kitchen. A giant welded planet of tools, trash and odds and ends.

“We used to make a lot more things than we use, wear or eat, and we’re not used to making things anymore,” Jon said. “Understanding that these sculptures are handmade, that you can actually make something yourself from whatever material is available, can be really inspiring for people. “

While the show is generally not built around a theme, groupings often emerge “magically and organically that we didn’t anticipate and even notice until final selection,” Wissler noted. These connections, in mediums as well as in concepts, resonate through open spaces, like the mottled patinas of steel and stone that echo among abstract and figurative works, and the invisible threads connecting the d-shaped structures. uterus, inhabited by inchoate forms, created by Katie Richardson, Laurie Sheridan, Elizabeth Knowles and Kate Winn.

Certain pieces stand out in the landscape, such as the massive wood and metal bison by James Burnes, “Effram” and the bristling “Unrealized” by James Payne, which sprawls and rolls on the grass. Others mingle gently: the plastic irises of Daina Shobrys, a few meters from the thickets of the real thing, or the delicate “Flower / Fungi” porcelain of Susan Arthur which emerges directly from the earth.

“A lot of people, when they think of art, think of two-dimensional art in a gallery or a museum, and when they go out and see three-dimensional art, it has a physicality that they can really relate to. “Jon said. . “It looks more like our body than a piece of paper on the wall – you can touch it, walk around it, sometimes walk in.”

The more time you spend with these carefully composed works, the more you begin to recognize the unconscious art of the natural world that contains them – the play of foliage against the sky, the texture of rocks and tree trunks, negative space. between the branches, the myriad of shades of green.

This shift in vision is something that Wharton, who was passionate about designing her gardens and grounds, would have found particularly satisfying, Wissler said.

“She would have been grateful for the way the show made people slow down and watch – to notice the myrtle blanket she was growing and the magnificent canopy of trees above,” she said. “The introduction of the artificial component into the environment makes people more attentive and more attentive to their surroundings, and this is something that Wharton stood for.”

If you are going to

When: from dawn to dusk, until October 13


Where: The Mount, 2 Plunkett St., Lenox, Mass.

Tickets: Free entry to the park and gardens

Info: (413) 551-5111 or https://www.edithwharton.org

Also: Walk to Meet the Artists, June 20, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., free by reservation; Artist-led tours, July 18, August 15 and September 12, 2 to 4 p.m., $ 15; seniors and youth, $ 12; 10 years and under, free


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